A Farmhouse grows in Louisville
The hard work of structural engineering, planning and zoning, excavation and foundation, framing and sheathing were complete. At the time of my arrival on the scene, what remained were the hundreds of finish decisions (the hardware, cabinetry, lighting, tile, roof, exterior and interior colors) that make a house a home.
My client asked me if I was good with color. Great question!
Color is a very important, critical component of every project. Color establishes and grounds the personal in architecture. No two clients’ color preferences are alike.
While the homeowner’s personality is strongly traditional, her aura has lots of colorful energy. We travelled together around the Louisville area, going as far afield as Boulder’s Mapleton Hill to find what fit. The color palette of Front Range Colorado, unlike the East Coast, is all over the spectrum – from pink and blue to southwest stucco kiva style faux adobe.
Earlier in the project as she finalized the kitchen plan, a deep brown-grey cabinet door color emerged which eventually became the exterior trim color offsetting a warm white; not quite traditional but well in keeping with her playful nature. It suited the neighborhood ethos as well. I believe the exterior of a building should signal what is happening inside, not hide it.
Many of the interior colors came from the inspiration of that cabinet color: the wide plank oak floors with a deep polished stain; a very sophisticated veined 12 x 24 ceramic tile kitchen floor; the oil rubbed bronze lever hardware by Emtek … just a partial list.
The capstone of the project, that I believe brings it all together, is the fireplace and mantle which sits prominently against the 14-foot gable wall at the north side of the living room. You see it immediately upon entering and from the kitchen/dining area.
I designed a Craftsman-influenced mantle with pilasters and panels grounded by deep stone like tiles. It sits on a 2-inch slab of New Mexico Buff local stone. Diagonally set metallic 4×4 insets speak “character” with just a slice of Colorado Carpenter Farmhouse to balance the formality.
The builder, John Fruth of Fruth Construction, and his carpenters did a fantastic job executing the plans. A fine, solid, and energy-efficient farmhouse sits proudly on a corner in Louisville.
To say the final product “fit” the client is an understatement. She said of my work,
“You read my soul.”